Man nabbed for gold heist

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© SIX suspected armed robbers pounced on a gold miner’s house in Famona suburb and allegedly got away with US$30 000 cash, a kilogramme of gold ore and other valuables.

Mehluli Ncube, Fungai Mpofu, Nqobizitha Nyathi, Prince Mpumelelo Dube, Mgcini Ndlovu, and Rabson Chatikobo allegedly ambushed Peter Jonathan Pretorius as he arrived home from his Petrel 4 Mine in Esigodini.

The gang allegedly gagged Pretorius and tortured him and his wife demanding to know where the safe containing the gold was. They then stole US$30 000, necklaces, three cell phones, two gold rings, a rifle and a firearm certificate after which they drove off in Pretorius’ Nissan Hardbody.

One of the suspects, Ncube, fled to South Africa after committing the crime, but was arrested when he returned home for the festive season. The other suspects are still at large.

Yesterday, Ncube appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Lizwe Jamela and was charged with armed robbery. Jamela denied him bail and remanded him in custody to January 28. Prosecuting, Denmark Chihombe said that on June 21, 2019 at about 7pm, Pretorius drove into his home and as he closed the gate, Ncube and his accomplices entered the yard.

They allegedly pointed a pistol at Pretorius and demanded cash and gold. The State alleges that they dragged him to the backyard where they struck him with a crowbar and a step ladder on the head and face. The court heard that Ncube and his accomplices gagged him with a webbing belt, strangled and tortured him in a bid to force him to disclose where he kept his gold and cash.

It is alleged they then went to the main door where they pointed a gun at Pretorius’ wife, Kerry-Lyn Swain, and threatened to shoot her if she did not disclose where the cash was. They allegedly hit Swain with the crowbar until she revealed where the gun cabinet and safe were.

The court heard that the gang took the safe and fled. The value of the stolen goods is US$40 000 and only $800 was recovered.

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